The National Security Council has expressed concern over the ability of terrorists to fire rockets targeting areas in any part of the country.
Before the arrival of President Muhammadu Buhari on a one-day working visit on Thursday, Boko Haram fighters fired rockets into Maiduguri, Borno State capital.
The rockets, which landed in Ngomari Ayashe community, killed four children while at least 16 persons sustained injuries in the attack.
The Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, while responding questions from State House reporters after the Security Council meeting presided over by the President, said the ability of the terrorists to land rockets is a matter of “concern”.
He said the terrorists were, however, unable to achieve their objectives with the rocket launch on Thursday.
They are launching it in major towns, they are launching it in Maiduguri. It is a concern. And it has been seriously checkmated. There are efforts to continuously checkmate it.”
“What they have done yesterday (Thursday), yes, they have done it, but to a large extent, they have not achieved what they have intended to achieve because of the situation the security agencies particularly the military put in place,” he said.
On whether the security agencies had been able to determine the origins of the rockets, the police boss responded in affirmation, saying that it had been done before and after the firing incident occurred.
He said some of the terrorists elements that launched the rockets had been eliminated.
“Yes, it had been done before and even after. Some of those who must have planned and thrown those rockets have been taken out,” he declared.
The police boss said the security agencies are trying to improve on what they are already doing “to ensure there is peace, law and order during the Yuletide period and beyond.”
He restated Buhari’s marching orders to security agencies, which he said are always the same.
Baba said, “The marching orders are always the same, you have even told Nigerians the marching orders of the President. It has always been the same. There is no space, there is no tolerance to any threat to security. There is no sparing of any terrorists and there must be an intelligence gathering, there must be proactive prevention of crime and there must be checkmating of all those that are involved in criminal activities, whether it be terrorism, banditry or armed robbery or whatever and that is what we are trying to do to the best of our knowledge and ability.”
Baba, while speaking on the security personnel in the South East, said the deployment of agents to areas depended on the nature society.
He said: “Where there are more people, you have problem of policing than where you don’t have. What we have in some of the states is big landmass without actually having too many people.
“In some spaces, we have too many people in a small place. That means there is human interaction and you need to have policing there much more than what you have where you don’t have that number of population.”
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who led the briefing on the security meeting outcome, assured that there is no threat to safety and security in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He spoke after the leaked memo by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) alerting on impending terrorist attack.
The minister said the council asked them to assure Nigerians that measures had been put in place to ensure their safety during the Christmas season and beyond.